It is the new year and as the calendar tuns and I struggle to remember to start my dates with a one instead of a twelve and to end with a twenty instead of a nineteen, it seems natural that things get a fresh start. After all the calendar has flipped, the feasting is done (except birthday cake, e currently have half of a chocolate angel food cake in the kitchen with a lemon cake covered in a meringue type icing coming Friday). Even though I have been working on expanding my plan rather than making resolutions, I like the clean slate.
It keeps me from being lazy.
A clean slate has two primary advantages. The first, and most obvious is that I can leave behind all of the struggles (and we all know I struggled from Thanksgiving onwards, at least with my weight. Life was fine, weight, not so much) that occurred behind me. I do not have to carry those into the new year. I can be fresh and motivated for the long unmarked calendar pages before me. Twelve months of opportunity. Each day, hopefully getting a little better, a little more comfortable in my skin and a little bit closer to a healthier me. all the struggle is behind and nothing but a blank canvas is in front of me.
even my scale has a new battery in preparation for the new year. (and because of the error message and sudden death of the last set of batteries.)
That is very appealing isn’t it?
On the flip side though, it is also somewhat terrifying.
While I struggled to achieve my weight loss goals in November and December, I had many wins under my belt. I made a plan regarding my calories and for the most part stuck to it. I made a plan for my workouts and again for the most part stuck to it. I shed a chunk of weight. And going into this year I don’t need to lose about half of my body weight to be in the healthy range, I need to lose less than 100 (I think it is around 85 or so at this point).
That is actually a big win.
And starting a fresh new year with a clean slate, means I have to leave that behind.
Don’t get me wrong, it all gets remembered in the great cumulative and when I am feeling like I am beating my head against a wall with my workouts I will bring it to mind. any time my weight loss stalls I will remind myself of past victories. But there is a benifit to leaving the wins behind with the losses.
The second primary benefit of starting the new year with a clean slate is that I leave the wins behind. I can’t rest on my laurels, so to speak. when I get busy it is very easy for me to get lazy with my workouts. To say to myself, well you started at 246 and look how far you’ve come, maybe you do deserve a break, or a butterfinger bar, or that really nice looking loaf of brioche paired with that wheel of triple cream brie. What was that about an all you can eat buffet…
Because for me it will snowball if everyday I look all the way to the start of my weight loss journey. While I still keep the talley, giving myself a nice boost by listing it on Friday with my weekly weight, during the week I start my year’s progress bar anew. I think to myself, how much have I lost this year. while clearly at the start it is a depressingly small number, like, um zero, that does provide me with motivation.
When I need the extra boost, I can look back at the cumulative journey. For my daily life, I need the sort of boot in the butt motivation that a clean slate provides if I am to keep myself from becoming lazy and complacent about my weight loss goals. I know that just as everyone has a body with different nutritional and exercise needs, everyone’s brain works differently. Some of you may prefer to keep the running tally for daily motivation and that is fabulous.
But even if you do that, I would encourage you to take the first benefit of the clean slate that the new year offers and leave any failures or disappointments in the past. Learn from them, sure, just don’t let them weigh you down as you move forward.
As for me, I’ve hung my 2020 calendar on the wall and see twelve pages filled with nothing but opportunities to move forward.